BY Ryan McDougall | April 19 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Pro-life students fight for free speech

Pro-life students made a stand for free speech on campus last week as they staged a protest at the conference of the National Union of Students (NUS), which has been accused of trying to silence pro-life voices.

The Alliance of Pro-Life Students (APS) was warned by opposition groups online not to show up to the NUS conference on Thursday April 11, and on the day was told there would be a counter-protest.

Grace Deighan, president of Glasgow Students for Life, was among the group of protesters. She said they were there to protest the NUS’ lack of inclusion and its pro-choice stance, which ‘is not representative of all students.’



“We’re from universities who have had a really tough time getting pro-life groups affiliated despite the fact that there are pro-choice groups on campus and really we just want to say to the NUS that there should be an open debate,” she said.

“There should be platforms for both sides of the argument, like Palestine and Israel. You can have both sides represented and have a healthy debate and conversation between the two, so that’s why we’re here.”

After a long battle, pro-life groups at Glasgow University and Strathclyde University were recently granted affiliation at their respective campuses, having previously been banned.

Ms Deighan added the protest had went well.


Peaceful protest

Students from the group mentioned that a few people had told them to ‘shut up’ or asked why they had a pro-life stance, but within the first hour the situation had calmed.

“There were people coming over and saying, ‘why are you anti-abortion?’ and some were quite rude,” Ms Deighan said. “Someone told me to be quiet when I started speaking—it was quite aggressive, but it’s been fine.”



Towards the end of the protest, the group were approached in solidarity by other protesters, Bust, who believe the NUS is corrupt and are attempting to start a movement to disaffiliate universities from it completely.

Ms Deighan added: “Roughly another 10-12 people came over saying the NUS was suppressing free speech and free thought and they supported our protest even though they weren’t necessarily pro-life.”


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